Boy found dead under floorboards ‘drowned in toilet bowl’ by mum’s boyfriend

Horrifying details have emerged after the body of a young boy found dead under the floorboards has led to the arrest of a man and a woman accused of murder in the US state of Arkansas.

Prosecutors say that Blu Rolland, whose body was found buried under the floorboards of his family home last week, died three months ago after his mother's boyfriend drowned him in a toilet bowl.

Blu’s mother, Ashley Rolland, 28, told police that the boy had died on September 9 after being “punished” by her boyfriend, Nathan Bridges, 33.

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However, there’s a degree of confusion about Blu’s age. A statement from Arkansas State Police said the victim was 6 years old, but court documents say he was born on December 16, 2017 — meaning his body was found on what would have been his fifth birthday.

Blu was killed by Bridges, Rolland revealed, after the boy had bit his finger.

Rolland told police that Bridges had also caused severe burns to her six-year-old daughter by holding her under scalding hot water “as punishment for her behaviour issues,” according to court documents.

Karen Rolland, the children’s grandmother, alerted police after her son – the children’s father – noticed the little girl’s injuries, which Rolland had claimed had been caused by an “allergic reaction”.

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Karen Rolland told NBC News that the girl "could barely even walk" and that when her son had collected her from Rolland’s home, her clothes were soiled in urine. As soon as she reached her grandmother’s home, the little girl asked for "water and something to eat."

"I told her that she was safe, and just the look on her face was sheer terror," she said.

When police visited the home, they found "newly nailed-down boards" in one area of the floor, with "disturbed earth underneath”.

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As investigators began to sift the dirt for evidence they found a child's flip-flop, a red and blue blanket and "the pungent odour of decay," court papers say.

Rolland and Bridges have been charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a minor and battery. Rolland also faces two additional felony charges of permitting child abuse.

In her official police mugshot, Rolland appears to have a severe black eye. There is no official word on whether the injury was caused before or after her arrest.

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